Operation: Love Thy Neighbor

homelessThis past Friday, we served dinner to members of our street family under the Jefferson Street bridge.  The evening held little humidity and offered a delightful breeze as volunteers set up tables piled high with clothes and shoes.  Our Salvation Army canteen was parked  in its usual spot, serving salad and pasta out of the sliding window and more staff and volunteers manned side tables with bottled water, juice, silverware and condiments.

Over 150 hungry men and women stood patiently in a single file line as each person shuffled to the window of the canteen, arms stretching upwards to receive their evening meal.

As I stood off to the side, a man, perhaps in his late 50’s walked over to me and thanked us for what we were doing.  He wore a weathered navy ball cap, grey -t-shirt and boots.  He clutched the to go box filled with food that he had just received and shared, “that he had never imagined ever having to ask for food.  He’d worked his whole life and was recently laid off and was struggling to find a replacement. ” He went on to say that, “he’d never lived on the street before and now has an understanding and empathy for those who call it home.”  He said, “it humbles a person.”  He went on to say again that , “he couldn’t believe that he was asking for food.”  I told him, “consider it a gift and that God will provide a way in the future for him to serve someone else once he gets back on his feet.”  He smiled and as he did, his eyes became red and swelled with tears.  These tears slowly escaped from the corners of his eyes and slid down his cheek, he whispered, “please don’t tell anyone here that you saw me cry.” I said I wouldn’t that is why I won’t mention his name, which I asked him for and let him know that he would be prayed for.

For those we see throughout Nashville and in neighboring suburbs standing on street corners, selling papers or asking for some type of ???????????????????????????????assistance.  For those sitting on park benches for hours and walking up and down various streets and intersections and sitting beneath overpasses and bridges, let’s pray for them.  And let’s try and meet the need, whatever that may be.  Find a way to serve and give back to those who are struggling, those who feel hopeless and unloved, those who feel rejected and alone.  Even if it’s just knowing their first name and calling them by it, this creates impact, this opens a door of hope, this can show them you care.  To hear their story, to see their eyes recall lives past, loves lost and to feel their hands in mine, roughened by the elements allows me to enter into their world.  It enables me to step outside of my life and into that of another and with it comes a greater desire to help.  With it comes a mission to help others feel accepted, loved, treasured, encouraged and safe.  It’s a mission that can’t be accomplished with just one person, it needs an “Army” and this is where you come in.  The Salvation Army has many ways for you to give back and make a difference, all it takes is serving that first meal, having that first conversation and you will be in it for life.  So what are you waiting for? Operation: Love Thy Neighbor has been initiated.

Up, Up and Away!

lift

Major Ed Lee, Area Commander shares the vision, benefactor Jameka Usher shares on her graduation from the program and staff line up to release 5 red balloons L.I.F.T.S. to signify the skies the limit on what people can achieve thru Life Skills Learning!

The Salvation Army Center of Hope in Nashville Receives Grants Totaling $250,000 for New Adult Education Program

Life Skills Program “LIFTS” Assist Those in Need with Personal, Professional and Educational Skills

 (NASHVILLE, TN), JUNE 25, 2013 — The Salvation Army Center of Hope announced the Ansley Fund of The Frist Foundation and The Thomas Lyle Williams Foundation has awarded NAC $150,000 and $100,000 respectively to fund its newest program, LIFTS.

 A three -year demonstration project that is approved and recognized by The Salvation Army, “LIFTS” (Learning Is Fundamental To Success) is a program that provides professional, personal and educational skills to individuals who lack resources needed for a healthy, economically stable and independent life.

The official start of the “LIFTS” Life Skills Program will be Monday, July 1, 2013.

Established in 1982, The Frist Foundation is dedicated to sustaining and improving the quality of life in Nashville, Tennessee. As one of the larger foundations in Tennessee, it has been a philanthropic leader, serving as initiator, convener and catalyst among donors and nonprofit organizations.

The estate of Thomas Lyle Williams was left in trust for the benefit of The Salvation Army (nationally) and CARE, Inc. The Army’s share of the earnings of this trust is distributed quarterly to the four territories of The Salvation Army. The purpose of this fund is to encourage local units of The Salvation Army to develop new and creative approaches to alleviate the challenges encountered by poor people living within the community.

 

Time to Make the Donuts!

pix11This Friday, bakeries and famous donut stops like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts will celebrate in unity, National Donut Day by offering free, delectable, round, nuggets of goodness!

The history behind this delicious day goes back to WWI, when The Salvation Army “Donut Lassies” would drive up in canteens to where our soldiers were fighting and provide them with donuts, stationary, stamps and a clothes mending service.  It was difficult to obtain freshly baked goods so close to the front lines, so Salvation Army volunteers, Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purivance came up with this concept of making donuts, rolled flat by an old wine bottle and fried in the helmets of soldiers, to help sweeten the lives of those serving to protect our country.

Then, in 1938, the first Friday in June became recognized as “National Donut Day” by The Salvation Army in Chicago as a depression-era outreach initiative and pays tribute to The Salvation Army women volunteers, called “Lassies,” who prepared donuts for thousands of homesick soldiers during World War I.

Today, in 2013, there are many ways you can enjoy “Donut Day” and help make a difference in the lives of Others here in Nashville!

  • On Friday, June 7th, stop by your local Krispy Kreme for one FREE donut
  • On Friday, June 7th, stop by any Dunkin Donuts and receive a FREE donut with the purchase of a beverage
  • Now thru June 7th, stop by your local Kroger or favorite grocery store and pick up a box of Entenmanns donuts and “like” their Facebook page, where for each like, they will donate $1 to The Salvation Army
  • As you enjoy your FREE or purchased donuts, click here and make a donation to The Salvation Army in Nashville, where 82 cents of every dollar goes to programming for youth, senior citizens, homeless outreach, GED classes and much more……

Want The Salvation Army’s Donut Recipe?  Here it is, compliments of The Food Network:734650_10200274760769439_457639924_n

Ingredients7 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup lard
9 eggs
3 large cans evaporated milk
3 large cans water
18 cups all-purpose flour
18 teaspoons baking powder
7 1/2 teaspoons salt
9 teaspoons ground nutmegDirectionsCream sugar and lard together in a large bowl. Add and beat eggs into mixture. Combine evaporated milk and water. Add water mixture to creamed mixture. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in large sieve and sift into wet ingredients. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Roll and cut. Five pounds of lard are required to fry the donuts.This modified version of the traditional donut recipe is somewhat more appropriate for the modern home chef.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 level teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 level teaspoon salt

Speechless!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThat’s how we feel at The Salvation Army here in Nashville.  Words cannot adequately describe how we feel when it comes to the contribution of time and talent from our amazing volunteers!  Thousands upon thousands of volunteers have entered our buildings seeking ways to give back since 1890 and for their service we are eternally grateful.

Every volunteer who holds the hand of a child, provides a shoulder to someone who weeps, wraps their arms around someone alone, serves a meal to someone who is hungry and shares a coat with someone who is cold has created impact not just for the moment but for life.  To those who have assisted with administrative duties,  fielded phone calls in our office,  coached sports, taught classes, sorted gifts at Christmas and rang bells for programs, you have planted the seeds of change in the lives of generations to come.jenny morgan

We pray, we do not miss a single name but we would like to thank the many volunteers who served over the past year.

*Our thanks to:

1st United Methodist of Springfield
Aaliyah Nicholson
Aaron Gumpenberger
Aim Health
Alena Lopez
Alesia Schultz
Alex Soundara
Alexander Gordon
Alexandria Robinson
Alice Ann Barge
Alice Walton
Alicia Fletcher
Alison Grewing and Friends
Alissa Price
Allison Smith
Alva Wilk
Alysia Jimcoily
Amanda Bennett Family
Amanda Bilbrey and Friend
Amanda Blackrd-Scott
Amanda Eblen and Friends
American Society of Civil Engineers
AmeriCorp
Amie Hinton-Robertson
Amy Barker
Amy Smotherman and Friends
Amy Steele
Anchor Artist
Andrea French
Andrea McCormick
Andrea Walter and Family
Andrea Yancey
Andrew La Haie
Andy Bonami
Angela and Doresha Blakely
Angela Maxie
Angela Simmons
Angela Simpson
Angela Suscha and Friends
Angela Weatherbie
Angelic Fredricks
Angelica Blanco
Angie Coonrod
Angie Kaczor
Angie Lex
Angie Wheeler
Anisha Longmire
Anita Hermes
Anita Malone
Ann Lawtonbach
Ann Middlebrook
Anna Dean and Friend
Anna Marie
Annie Crandall
Aresha Hilliard
Ariel Evans
Arron Bennett
Arthur and Jean Irvin
ASHE
Ashlea Byram
Ashley and Brian Oaks and Friend
Ashley Gorley
Ashley Johnson
Ashley Jones
Ashley Pennell
Asurion
AutoTrader.com
Avon Moore
Bailey Scogin
Baker Donelson Law
Banana Republic Factory Store
Bank of Nashville
Barabara Kinkead and Friends
Barbara Hern
Barbara Williamson
Barbara Wooten
Montgomery Bell Academy
Becca Fendley
Becca Ousler
Bechy Szymanski and Friends
Bell Hayden
Bella Culp
Belmont
Beth Ross
Beth Zaborny
Betty Ann Norling
Betty Douglas
Betty Johnson
Beverly Haulk
Biff Porter
Bill and Carolyn Hoffman
Bill Dick
Billie Brown and Friend
Billy Bartlett
Billy Fields
Billy Haley and Friends
BK Moore
BMI
Bob Crenshaw
Bob Porter
Bob Rittenberry
Boyle Group
Brandi Boyd
Brandi Simms
Brayhan Valencia
Breauna Hulbutta
Brenna Vanliere
Brennan Frazier
Brett Andacht
Brian Otuonye
Bridgestone
Briney Ramirez
Brittany Mason
Brittany Scott
Brittany Stultz
Brittany Toth and Friend
Bruce Roberts
Burt Powers
Caleb Gorley
Callie Smith
Cameron Dean
Cara Galyon
Carey Susan
Cari Hartlage
Carless Dance
Carmax
Carole and Tom Pulliam
Caroline Benoist and Friend
Caroline Glen
Caroline Sheridan
Carolyn Craig
Carolyn Yates
Carrie Matthews
Carrie Wilsman
CAT Financial
Cathy Childers
Cathy Shull
CC Lawncare
CCA
Celia Jones
Center for Student Ministry Mission Groups
Charity Collier
Charity Collier
Charles Bryan
Charles Yebuah
Charlie Finchum
Charlotte Hermes
Charlotte Witteler
Chelsea Kempchinsky
Chelsea Kennedy
Chivonne Peeler
Chris Ammerman
Chris Coombs
Chris Weinmann
Chrisitie Cardwell White and Friends
Christ Church
Christa Flanders
Christie Jones
Christina Fetherolf
Christina Harris
Christine and Bill Stevens
Christoper Parker Family
Christy Ashford
Christy Hood
Cieaira Covington
Cigna
Claire Miles
Claudia Smelser
Clay Faircloth
Comdata
Cornelius & Collins
Cornerstone Commercial Real Estate Services
Cornerstone Youth Ministries
Corps of Engineers
Courtney Gregg and Friend
Coysalt Service Church Group
Craig Joseph Famly
Crosspoint Church
Crossraods Church
Crosswinds Community Church
Crystal Downing and Friends
Cumberland University
Cummins
Cummins Filtration
Curhon Jamison
Dailia Adams
Dan Hogan and Friends
Dan Looper
Dana Leigh
Dana Zelenik
Dania Amin
DaNielle Arthurs
Danielle Broadrick
Dave Hart
Dave Ramsey Company
David Enzor
David Gomez
David Huggins
David Woodward
Davie Haggard
Dayna Lovelady
Deb Leinart
Debby Persch Family
Debra Mathis
Dee Coffman
Dee Dee Ralston
Deena Williamson
Deidre Butler
Dell
Dena Payne
Denise Jackson
Dennis and Vickie Osmera
Derek Evert
Desiree Keoneth
Desiree Moore
Devon Hymare
Diamond Carter
Diana Whiddon
Diane Curtis
Diane Smith
Diersen Charities
Dillon Briscoe
Dismas House
Dixie Heagy
Don Brown
Dona Dyer
Donna Barber
Donna Coode
Donna Palmer
Dottie Heteal
Doug Remke and Family
Dustin Wilson
Dusty Knapp
Dylan Treloar
Ed and Victoria Novi
Eddie and Sandy McLemore
Edma Salyer
EJ Boyson
El Marie Skipper
Eleanor Bass
Elizabeth Weller
Ellen Randall
Ellen Sadler
Eloise Ferguson
Emdeon
Emily Kroll
Eno Eyo
Epsworth UMC
Erica McManus and Friends
Erika Cravath
Erin Gordon
Erin Rion
Etta Wilson
Eve Hinz
Evelyn Anderson
Everton and Eboni Herron
Fabra Belk
FIS, Inc.
Ford
Frances Neal
Frances Neal and Friends
Frances Ragland
Frank and Diann Harden
Frank John Potter
Frank Wilk
Fred Smith
Gabrielle Eliott
Gail Pusey
Garrett Wright
Gary Slaughter
Gayle Cherry
Gayle Streeter and Family
Genee Spears
Genesco
Gerry and Judy Lonsway
Gina McKinless
Ginnie Donaldson
Ginny Mayes
Ginny Newell and Family
Girl Scout Troop 1115
Glasko Smith Line
Glenda Bashor
Gloria B. Gillespie
Goodlettsville Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Gordon Chavez
Grady Douglas
Greater Church of Nashville
Gus and Carolyn Gustafson
Hailey Treloar
Hannah Greeley
Hastings Company
HCA-Finance
HCA-HR and IT
Heath Herrington
Heather Johnson
Heather McGlothlin
Heather Patton
Heather Sczepczenski
Heather Thomason
Heidi White
Helen Dale
Home 2 Suites by Hilton
Honey Rodgers
Hope Kenerly
Ina Hitt
Inglewood Baptist Church
Ingram Entertainment
Invested Productions
Irene Oquendo
Iron Mountain Inc.
ISDS
Jack Cook
Jacquelaine Vest
Jaime and Brad Waldschmidt
Jame Oquin
James Devine
James Devine
Jamestown UMC
Jane Haynes and Family
Jane Tacker and Family
Janet and John Giglione
Janet Harvill
Janet Keith
Jarad Pennell
Jared Wall
Jasmine Harris
Jason Shain Pachter and Friend
Jay Fleming
Jean Hart
Jean Parlavecchio
Jeni. N. Waldrop
Jennifer Bridgeforth
Jennifer Lamroeaux and Friends
Jenny Kitchen
Jermeka Grace
Jerry Herman
Jeseca Spencer
Jessalynn Whyte
Jessica Emery
Jessica Harvey
Jessica Hudson
Jessica Summers
Jessie Wiens
Jesue Flemin
Jill C. Baker
Jill Jones and Friends
Jillian Zurliene
Jimmy SpradleyJimmy Wayne
Joan Jones
JoAnn Washington
Joanne Slaughter
Johanna Turner
John Anderson
John Duncan and Friends
Johnny Phipps
Jonathan Maharaj
Josh Riebel
Josh Windham
Joshua Wilson
Joslyn Alvarez
Joyce Jeffers
Joyce Vorhees
Judi Echols
Judie and Ben Snyder
Judy Wiens
Julia Cantrell
Julia Harrison
Julia Howley
Julia Spalding
Julia Yeager
Julie Cantrell
Julie Griffin
June Manning
K. Alexis Gunn and Friends
Kaitlyn Parks
Kala Ealy
Karen Bambas
Karen Morlan
Katherine Jabbi
Kathy Davis
Katrina Coomer
Katrina Hurt
Katy Robbins
Kavon Seay
Kayce Boyd
Keith and Tennessee Hoffman
Keith Grant
Keith Ridley
Kelly Hibbet and Friends
Kelly Maupin
Kelly Woodis
Kelsey Vickers
Ken O’Shea
Ken Warren
Kendra Gipson and Friends
Kenny and Angeta Vetetoe
Kevin Buchanan
Kevin Lake
Kevin Miller
Kevin Wolf
Kiara Henry
Kim Brake
Kim Winters
Kimberly Anderson and Friend
Kimberly Vega
Kirk Martin
Kiwanis Club
Kristi Sweeney
Kristina Clohesy
Kristina Lorenz
Kristy Denson
Kroger
Landon Southerland
LaQuita Carter
La’Tosha Phillips
LaTrece and Cierra Brown
Laura Bush and Friends
Laura Greer
Laura Huftless
Laura Ketola
Laura Miles
Laura Robertson
Laura Starnes
Laurel Kroder and Friends
Lauren Cassity
Lauren Griffin
Lauren Levy
LaVondia Careter
LaVondia Jones
LEAD Academy
Lee Bartlett
LeeAnn Woodby
Len and Carolyn Manley
Lena Boyd
Leslie Nelson and Friends
Leslie Watt
Let It Shine Gymnastics
Libbey Reggans
Lightning Source Inc.
Lillie Turner
Linda and Ed Cox
Linda and Ralph Green
Linda Faye Gray
Linda Hendon
Linda Satterwright
Lindsay Mihalcik
Lindsey Bradley
Lindsey Hyde
Lipscomb University
Lisa Blake
Lisa Gordon
Lisa Thompson
Lisa Torrens and Family
Lisa Zekany
Liz Turner
Lorna Schmittou Karr and Friend
Lu Rocker
Lucinda Weatherford
Lucy Carpentar
Luke Franks
Lyndhurst Community Church
Lynn Perry
Magan Dobbs and Friend
Maggie Bailey
Mandy Roberts
Marc Porter
Marci Munchak
Margaret Thomas
Marge Janiak
Marge Showers
Marianne DeMeyers
Marie Alexander
Marie Fugua
Mark Russell
Markeela Johnson
Markisha Thompson
Marsha Reeder
Martha Davis
Marty May
Mary Ann Somers and Friends
Mary Bennett
Mary Bowles
Mary Cunningham
Mary Ellen Vanderwilt
Mary Emily Powell
Mary Emily Thomas
Mary Evelyn Denton
Mary Hamilton Chestnut
Mary Katherine Barranco
Mary McDonald
Mary Morley
Mary Oneal
Mary Wallace
Mason Riley
Matt Clinard
Matt Keffer
McKensey Crawford
Megan Jacobs
Megan Welshofer
Mei Zhi
Melanie Jay
Melanie Wright
Melissa Chamberlain
Melissa Humphres
Melissa Stephenson and Friend
Mendi and Brian McCord
MeRita Vest
Metro Government
Michael Miller
Michele Brown
Michelle Cutright
Michelle Evans
Michelle Mansour
Mickey Clark and Friends
Mickey Harrison
Misty Antomattei
Mix 92.9
Molly Dend and Friends
Mona Thompson
Monique Hodges
Monique Reed and Friends
MOPS
Morgan Petek
Mother Daughter Serving Circle
Mount Juliet Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Ms. Bonnie
Mt. Juliet Christian Academy
Mt. Zion Church Youth Group
MTSU
Murica Mixon
Myra Leathers
Nadja Ritter
Nancy Goggins and Friends
Nancy Hopper
Nashville Chamber of Commerce
Nashville Fire Department
Nashville Predators
Nashville Sounds
Natalie Buckwalter and Friend
Natalie Raketich
Nathan Hurlbert
Nathan Ratcliff
Nedrianna Brunt
Nelson and Mullins
Nicole Knott
Nicole Langlois
Nicole Spaller
North Highland
Oasis Center
OHCU
Omar Childress
Omari Whyte
Optuminsight
Paige Bingham
Pam Atwell
Pam Beziat
Pam Sheridan
Pamela Langston
Parallon
Pat and Joe McCauley
Pat and Steve Seale
Pat Mynatt
Patricia Gill and Friend
Patricia Lane
Patricia Michael
Patricia Netherly
Patsy Wergel
Patty Hendricks
Patty Jones
Paul Hendricks
Paula Chesser
Peggy Carpenter
Peggy Raney
Peggy Smith
Peggy Studney
Phi Beta Sigma
Phillip Waters
Phyllis Madsen
Piper Black
Polly Linden and Family
Power Consulting
Prologis
Quiniesha Herndon
Rachel Ansley
Rachel Early
Rachel Southerland
Rachel Stevens
Ramsey Raybeck
Randi Butler
Randy Johnson
RaShonda Harris
Ravenwood High School
Ray Hayles
Ray Lowe and Friends
Rayna Ritter
Rebecca and Katie Appleton
Regen Byrd
Regina, Autumn, and Cody Glass
Rehobeth UMC
Rena Johnson
Renata Dash
Renata Dash’s Girl Scout Troop
Renay Chavez
Renee Orlando
Renita Burgett
Rev Davis
Revolution Church
Rhoer Club
Richard Prescott
Robin Alexander
Robin Corindo
Robin Levine
Ron Harmon
Rosalind Reid
Rosaline Mills
Rose Shaw
Rosemary Boone
Ruby Hampton
Ruth Cannon
Ruth Stockell
Ryan Kilpatrick
Sadie Gorley
Sally Galloway and Friend
Sam Harwell
Sandra Broadnax and Friends
Sandy and Eddie McLemore
Sandy Bergquist
Sandy Stephenson
Sara Christi
Sara Hooker
Sarah Carpenter
Sarah Christie
Sarah Educate
Sarah Logan
Sarena Egan
Scott Piersa
Scottesna Henderson
Sertoma Club
Shade Tree Clinic
Shannon and Dan Eldridge
Shannon Collins
Sharon Clayborn
Sharon Simmons
Shashi Menon
Sherry Gray
Sherry Howell
Sherry Templeton
Sheryl Day and Friends
Shetika Raymer
Shirley K. Fletcher
Sierra Pruitt
Sina’e Verner
Sonny and Joann Ponder
Southwestern Group
Specialty Cares
Stacey Darron
Stacy Toumie
State of TN Treasury Dept.
Stephanie Dunavant
Stephanie Jacobs
Stephanie Logan
Stephanie Murray
Stephanie Russell
Stephen Austin Carter
Stephen Carter
Steve and Deb LaForge
Stoner Creek Elementary
Sue Edwards
Sue Smith
Sue Strayhorn
Suntrust Bank
Susan Albano
Susan Creagh
Susan Foster and Family
Susie Woolwine
Suzanne Hurt
Sylvia Nodoni and Family
Sylvia Whitefield
Tammy Key
Tammy Sykes
Tankia Hale
Tanya Gilyard and Family
Tanya Wilson
Taquonna Little
Tately Jennings
Taylor Fields
TDOT
Tennessee State University
Tennessee Titans
Teresa Beaty
Terri Sneed and Friend
The Downey Family
The Foss Family and Friends
The Malone Family
The Michael Family
The Nashville Choir
The Ranch
The Salvation Army Advisory Board
The Salvation Army Women’s Auxillary
The West Family
Theresa Merril
Theresa Portilla
Theresa Treloar
Tia Charles and Family
Tie Odom
Tiffany Bearden
Tim Holmes
Tim Underwood
Timothy Logan
Timothy Woody
Tina Morris
Tina Morris
Tina Pugh and Family
Tina Tuggle
Tisha Hood and Family
TN Air National Guard
TOA
Tonya Holland
Tonya Reed
Torey Henry
Tracy Frazier
Tracy Jabbar
Tracy Spence
Trevecca Nazarene University
Trey Smith
Trish and Mitch Parker
Trisha Blackburn
Tristar Health
Troy Slay
TSA Berry Street Corp Members
TSA Citadel Corp Youth Group
TSA Hispanic Corp Members
TSA Laotian Corp Members
Twyla Copedge
Tyler Spradling
Ulonda Whitehead
United Way
University of Dayton Alumni
University of Phoenix
University of Tennessee Alumni
UPS
Valerie Wilson
Vanderbilt Atheltics
Vanderbilt School of Medicine
Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt’s Presbyterian Student Fellowship
Vanderbilty Sports Medicine
Vanessa Fry
Vanguard Health Systems, Inc.
Virginia Ripey
Walker Mathews/RC Mathews
Wanda and Jennifer Dunlap
Wanda Jeans
Webb School
Wells Fargo
Wendy Collier
Wendy Rutherford
Wendy Vanliere
Whites Creek High School AFJROTC
Word Entertainment
Wray Estes
WSMV
Yasmin Harris
Yeissa Irizarry and Friend
YMCA of Mid. TN
YMCA of Mid. TN Boys and Girls Club
Zack Deck
Zander El-Hindi
Zion Missionary Church
Zyria Harris

*names are based on sign in sheets for events/programs, etc.

Dancing in the Rain

rain showrrWe are now making our way through the month of April!  Spring is here and with that comes rain showers that help to saturate the ground with the much needed moisture that will enable plants to grow.  You’ve heard the saying “April Showers bring May Flowers” and you’ve seen it come to pass.  Once a rain soaked April exits, a warm and colorful May arrives with a myriad of beautiful flowers as far as the eye can see and the leaves of every tree sporting thick, healthy leaves, filling in the spaces that winter helped to create.

Does this happen overnight?  No, it’s days upon days of rain mixed with sunshine, a much needed combination for plant life to grow.  Plants need the sun for energy which plays a vital role in the process, photosynthesis.  Because of the sun and the energy they derive, they can grow and thrive.  Without rain, a plant would die, it’s root system disfiguring, thus the wilting effect occurs.  Water helps to drive key nutrients from the soil into and throughout the plant.  Water also helps to regulate the temperature of the plant through the photosynthesis process and is stored in the roots of the plant, moving up to the leaves as necessary.

IMG_0036At The Salvation Army, we meet many individuals who are wilting from the burdens of life.  Financial, personal, relational situations can deplete and pull from us in ways that disable us from truly living or believing we have any worth. Through the various programs we offer, we strive to provide the necessary “nutrients” to those who seek our help.  We encourage them to be patient, that changes don’t happen overnight but soon enough they will see their lives bloom right before their eyes and they will never be the same.  We pour into them with love, compassion, understanding, resources and tools.  We allow them to not only see their true potential but realize it.  Our Life Skills Learning Center offers free classes to our community that can help someone get back on their feet and reach new heights of personal development.  Computer classes, resume writing, job readiness, GED are among many of the classes offered.  Our Transitional housing program for single men, single women and families offers a refuge and opportunity to those who would otherwise be homeless; enabling them to find stability and the chance to pick themselves back up, readjust and eventually transition from our program to a home of their own.

As the rain falls and the clouds roll in, it’s difficult to muster the energy to celebrate, to dance when it feels like the world is caving in around you.  The good news is, the rain will pass, the clouds will depart and the sun will shine.  So go ahead and find the joy in the rain, trust and believe that you are growing and that your breakthrough is right around the corner.  God has you in the palm of his hand!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Go Fish!

602342_4236887278198_1303048187_nPicture this, the sun has yet to make it’s appearance as you walk toward your trusty wooden boat, it’s painted sides peeling from years of use.  You set your tackle box on the floor of the boat, position your fishing poles just right so they don’t get tangled and with both hands on the oars gently paddle out into the mist filled morning.  As you glide through the mirror like waters, you count the silver ripples that billow across the top of the water with each strike of the oar, you breathe in the fresh air and admire the hint of gold that is making it’s way up out of the horizon.  You stop and anchor in the perfect spot, collect your rod and reel, and after securing the bait, cast and listen for the sound of the hook making contact with the water.  Minutes or hours can pass but all the while, you savor the solitude, the sounds, the breeze that peacefully rocks the boat and the beauty of rocky shorelines, stately pine trees and the occasional wildlife who make their way to the water’s edge for a refreshing drink.  Suddenly, you feel the pull and your rod bends with the weight that is on the other end.  With practiced movements, you begin to reel it in, carefully, methodically and then, soon, a large bright, silver fish appears out of the depths of the lake and into your boat.  The entire day produces several fish which ends up being enough to feed your family that night along with the fresh vegetables you planted in the garden. You smile at the joy of learning, practicing and achieving a skill, that in essence is providing a much needed meal for your family.

Now, which is more exciting and beneficial, to sit in the boat after careful preparation and catch your own fish or for someone to hand you a couple of fish and say “there you go, enjoy.”  What is more rewarding, what enables you to achieve more, which one can you pass down to your children and teach?”IMG_4856

At The Salvation Army, within our Life Skills Learning program,we  want to provide the resources (tackle box), tools (fishing pole), patience, love and hope (Jesus) to those who seek us out wanting to make a change in their lives. If someone is hungry we will feed them and immediately fill the need but then we quickly show them how they too can meet that need through commitment, patience, planning and practice.  We provide opportunities for them to learn skills that will free them from dependence to independence and will enable them to reach new heights on their own which becomes their own personal ministry and testimony for others to observe and learn from.

Many broken and lost souls find their way to our doors, many have failed to hold down a job, put food on the table or a roof over the heads of their families.  But once they enter our programs and follow through with what is offered, they exit our doors with heads held high and with fishing pole in hand, head out into the world just as the sun is rising, casting what they have learned, patiently awaiting the expected results.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie 

Love Will Always Live Here

familyWe are nearing the end of February and as you may or may not have noticed, our “Love Lives Here” posts have been sporadic at best.  Within the realms of any non profit, you will find that employees generally wear many different hats and are responsible for a myriad of various duties that are all equally important for the common good of the organization as a whole.  At times, one particular area may demand more attention than the other and thus the focus needs to be readjusted for a moment.  But, here I am to close out the month and let you know that no matter how busy all of us become, no matter how many “to do” items are on our list minus the check marks to signify they are complete, no matter the meetings that need attending or the papers that need filing or the forms that need submitting, every single employee and officer never fails to catch a vision of the lives being impacted and changed here at The Salvation Army.

Even if we are in a meeting, a client or employee (past and present) can walk by and we stop what we’re doing to offer hugs, smiles and conversation with a friend!  As we diligently type away on reports, memos, or the completion of a grant, we will always stop, get up and walk around to see what’s happening around the building, to see if we can’t snag an opportunity to bounce a basketball with some youth at our community center, admire the beautiful artwork of students in our after school program or read stories to infants and toddlers here in our transitional housing program.

We could have meetings scheduled all day, but will intentionally carve out time so we can come in early and feed our “street family” girl fishingbreakfast on board our Breakfast Brigade, stay late and work with adults in our GED and computer classes or feed the homeless under the Jefferson street bridge with our Soup Wagon program. During the holidays, staff and officers can be found on Thanksgiving and Christmas serving meals to the homeless at our 631 Dickerson Pike location and even driving a bus to head out and collect those who may not have a means to get here.  During Angel Tree, we are working 10-12 hour days without realizing it because of the love we have for the families we are serving.  The temps can be cold, the wind can blow and the rain can fall, but you can find us ringing bells, sharing the sound of hope with those around us encouraging them to donate change for change in the lives of  our brothers and sisters.

The beauty of the team we have here in Nashville is we all pitch in, we all come to the aid of another, we are here to uphold and support the mission and most importantly encourage and love those we have the honor of serving through the various programs we offer.  Love will always live here as long as we keep God first, seeking his wisdom and guidance in all things.  God is love; a true example for us all and so throughout the year and for years to come, love will be here.  It will be here when we hold the hand of another lifting them out of the pit of despair and onto solid ground built on a foundation of hope.  It will be here as employees and officers support one another in our respective fields; edifying, encouraging and helping when times become challenging.  It will be here when a lost soul walks through our door, seeking to know the truth and we have the chance to share how much God loves them and how on a cross, Jesus died for them, a sacrifice of love so that they may know true freedom.

Love lives here, love lives everywhere.  It’s not just a word to be spoken but an action to be taken.

Blessings to you all!